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Iowa Aerospace Defense Supplier Strike Will Prolong, says Union

According to the union, a Strike at an eastern Iowa defence supplier will stretch at least another week. John Herrig, a business representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 6, said he received an email from Eaton Corp. management late Sunday night stating that company representatives will not return to the bargaining table until March 1.

The warning came after the union’s newest recommendations were delivered to Eaton, a company based in Ireland, on Friday afternoon. The proposals had not been responded to, according to Herrig, who declined to disclose them with the Des Moines Register. Following the expiration of a five-year contract, a Strike at the Eaton-Cobham Mission Systems factory in Davenport began at 12:01 a.m. on Friday.

During a Thursday afternoon meeting at the Davenport Elks Lodge, 98 percent of those members decided to reject a tentative agreement with the company, according to Herrig. Members rejected the deal, according to Herrig, since the corporation offered “sub-standard salaries” as well as cuts to health care and retirement benefits. Herrig remained tight-lipped about the company’s services. Eaton’s aerospace division spokesperson Katie Kennedy declined to clarify whether corporate officials will be absent from talks until March 1.

Eaton-Cobham Mission Systems employees manufacture aeroplane parts for defence contractors, including systems that allow planes to refuel while in the air. Eaton paid $2.8 billion for the company in June. Herrig remained tight-lipped about the company’s reasons for not returning to the table for at least another week. He believes Eaton executives are attempting to put pressure on the union’s rank-and-file members, who will be forced to live on Strike pay until a contract is approved.

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